‘Real Housewives of OC’ Recap: Glamping Is Not a Thing

GlampingIn case you didn’t read the beautiful headline above, I’m going to set the record straight right now: “glamping” is not a thing. Glamping is a portmanteau (that’s when you slam two words together like Brangelina, which, when they slam together result in a pair of twins that fetch $3 million for a photo, but that’s another story) that Alexis created to describe the “glam camping” trip she’s going to take the women on. Sorry, I can’t be a creationist like Alexis. There is no way she coined that phrase. The only thing that rattles around in that head of hers is bible verses, carat sizes, and a tampon, but she had that tampon removed from her head so she would have an excuse to get her nose done, so now all she can think about is bible verses and carat sizes. She couldn’t come up with something as remotely clever as “glamping.”

Anyway, “glamping” is a concept that Alexis is spreading and like “push presents” and wedding vow renewals and shitty semi-ironic dance singles I’m afraid it’s going to catch fire with all the Real Housewives and each one is going to have to go on their own trip where they try to experience the wonders of nature while slinging back wine and bitching about each other. One is more than I can stand.

The problem with “glamping” is that there is a fundamental philosophical disconnect between the two. Alexis says that she wants to be one with nature and get back to her roots and show everyone how down to earth she is, but she also wants to bitch about not having any shelf space for her beauty products. She still wants to pack two suitcases full of shit for one overnight visit. At this point Housewives just fill suitcases with random shit so that they can be the one with the most bags because inappropriately packing heavy is some sort of status symbol amoung this strange breed of creature. It’s like there is an award for who can be the most impractical and consumptive. Anyway, so the idea of “glamping” is not to get in touch with nature, it’s to make a display of how much you hate nature, thereby proving how glam you really are. It shouldn’t be called “glamping” it should be called “overboarding” because all of these bitches behave just like Goldie Hawn in Overboard. “Oak! Who ever heard of such a thing? A real closet is made of cedar!”

Anyway Alexis brings Heather, our lady of the lakes; Vicki; Brianna, the human embodiment of a breath of fresh air; and Alexis’ nursemaid Shannon. If you recall, Shannon is a classic “striver,” that is a woman who is tangentially related to the show who thinks she could be part of the show if only she got some camera time. She was Alexis’ hair and makeup lady but now she’s going to carry Alexis’ bags so that her new nose doesn’t fall off into a fire while she’s singing kumbaya and making S’mores with her sistergirlfriends. I’m sorry, Shannon, but you are the help. You are the glam squad. You are the person that a Housewife tells her problems to while she’s getting made up. You are here only for matters of exposition, you are not here to create plot points. Strive all you want, but you will never make the holy land.

They all get up to the campsite and there is really no camping at all whatsoever. They’re basically staying in hotel rooms that aren’t attached to each other. And they’re only in Santa Barbara. No place on earth that has had a soap opera named after it at one time or another can have a real, respectable campsite where you sleep in tents and shit in the woods and get drunk trying to cook hot dogs on sticks and then just decide not to eat at all and pass out in a pile of leaves and wake up in the morning with a rock mark on your face and a slug in your ear.

Next up: Compain-orama. 

After they find their rooms, that’s when the complaining commences. The only thing that constitutes camping is that they are sitting outside. Otherwise they have their food brought to them for them to cook over a fire. This isn’t “glamping” at all, it’s just like a night out on your patio using the grill. Still there are too many bugs, it smells, the cabins are too small, it’s cold, there’s nowhere good to order pizza, there are no red wine glasses, the chairs don’t have cushions, there aren’t any shelves for their haircare regimen, their plastic surgery scars hurt, blah blah blah blah blippity blah. Again, this is not at all about nature, but a crushing need to exhibit how much one needs creature comforts to survive. It’s as if the one who needs the most pampering at all times wins.

The only one who is game for the trip is Heather, who thinks that she is a Lady of the Canyon because she owns some Joni Mitchell CDs and once went to Yosemite in college and had sex with a really hot park ranger while he held her up against a tree. What I do love about Heather, however, is that she calls total bullshit on Alexis, who is like that kid in grammar school who is always making stuff up to make people think she’s better than she is. If you got a giant chocolate bunny for Easter, not only did she get a giant bunny for Easter, but hers is eight feet tall and it is shaped like the Statue of Liberty and it was shipped in from France and it actually talks to you like a robot and, don’t you know, the chocolate SoL did all her homework last night and she’s going to get straight A’s. That’s Alexis. That lying kid. She has to prove that if she doesn’t live in a gated community, that she will get robbed. She has to have a fake wedding ring because her real ring is in the safe (um, Alexis, if your house is always getting broken into why would you leave the ring there and not on your person where you can make sure it’s not getting stolen?). Her husband has a $80,000 one-of-a-kind watch that was totally stolen but not insured but now she knows to have her ring appraised every year so that she won’t lose out on the insurance money. Oh, and let’s talk about her cars. She has a Phantom Maybach LSR7Million and a Escalade Capitero in Limited Edition Blue Topaz with rubies on the steering wheel. Oh, and a Bentley for each of her children and they all each have Porsche scooters that they ride around the driveway. And she bought a Prius, because she cares about the economy. As Heather, the great truth teller and Oracle of Orange County, said, everything she says is just a little bit phony. It’s like you can’t prove she’s lying, but it smells fishier than Charlie the Tuna after a three-day bender.

Speaking of the OC, Tamra held the first meeting of the Itty Bitty Titty Committy, which I know is totally hacky to write, but it’s just so much fun to say out loud. Itty Bitty Titty Committy. Itty Bitty Titty Committy. Itty Bitty Titty Committy. Wasn’t that a blast? Vicki hates the Itty Bitty Titty Comitty. Eddie hates the Itty Bitty Titty Comitty. Tamra loves it and her Titties Taint To Titty Bitty, so she’s all good under the hood.

Gretchen is still dealing with her lost voice and her big audition for Little Puss N Boots Big Playtime Review. I’m not sure what it is, but it appears to be a hosting gig for a children’s show that is about cats. It’s on PBS and educational. She is supposed to sing a song called “Fever” for the kids that tells them how to take their own temperature and what to do when they’re sick. Anyway, Gretchen continues to not be able to sing and she somehow blames Vicki for this. Now, I’m not positive how long has passed between the “Bunga Party” (like “glamping” and “fetch,” “Bunga Parties” are something else I’m not allowing to happen) when Gretchen yelled at Vicki, but there has at least been a Bowling Party and a “Glamping” Party, so that is at least like three days. If your voice is still all messed up, it has nothing to do with yelling at Vicki. This whole thing is about as real as all the cars that Alexis says she has in her garage of her rental house.

Back at the “glampsite” Alexis and the girls are pretty much ensconced in luxury, as they are accustomed, and complaining about it the whole time. They love the glam and hate the camping. Alexis calls the front desk for the 7,348th time. After asking for a wine opener, a pizza, more food, a fire starter, some matches, extra hairspray, a shawl, a heavier shawl because she’s still cold, turndown service, what time the salon opens, a hoodie because well the shawls just aren’t cutting it, where to put the trash, can someone pick up the trash, why won’t the WiFi work, how late is the pool open, she finally asks the one real question that is on all of their minds: “Where is this nature? I don’t see any nature. Do you have a map or a hiking trail or something like that?”

Just when Alexis turns off her diamond encrusted iPhone (which is actually her fake diamond encrusted iPhone brand cellular device, because she left the real one in her Maybach in her giant safe so that no one could steal either) there is a rustle in the bushes. “It’s a bear!” Vicki shouts. “No, it’s a rapist,” Shannon the striver says. “Oh my god, it’s the ghost of Jeana Keough!” Brianna jokes. But it’s none of those things, it’s a skunk. All the women run screaming, back toward their cabins, embracing the glam and scramping the amping.

But not Alexis. She just stares at it. It’s like she sees her spirit animal, glumphing through the fallen leaves, walking like a lump that shifts sides every step, it’s nose straight and perfect, just like Alexis’. That’s when she notices the stink. It’s not a full-on skunk stink, but it’s the stink you think you smell when you see a skunk. It’s some part of your brain firing to let you know something is wrong, it is making all the associations a brain has been known to make and it is telling you that something is about to stink. That is what is happening even in Alexis’ brain, which is really just a neon sign that shines either “Yes,” “No,” or “Jesus.” Even still, the flashings happen in some configuration that conjure up a phantom smell in her nose and she’s so glad that she finally had that giant tampon removed from her sinus. She thinks she can smell a skunk for the first time. She thinks she sees it, this nature that she has been missing this whole time. She should be loving this skunk, letting her arm out so that it can crawl up and curl around her neck like a stole. So that it can mosey all around her body being one with her. God made Alexis (well, most of her, at least) and God made this skunk. She got “glamping” all wrong. She didn’t need the wine or the pre-marinated meat or the little baggies full of S’mores. She just needed this. This is what they should have been doing all along. This skunk.

Alexis dropped to her kneels causing a thud and a rustle and the skunk stopped and turned around. All the ladies screamed from behind the doors of their cabins. They thought it was going to happen, that Alexis would be covered in stench and they’d have to ride back with her, the windows open the whole way trying to air out her velour track suit. That’s not what was happening. Alexis raised her hands and clasped them in front of her heart. She was praying to her god, a lonely and selfish god that people only ask for things and don’t do anything in return. Still, it was her god and she was talking to it now while out alone in his palace, his real church. With that the skunk skulked away, back into the brush, content that it had seen everything there was to see here, and that there was nothing worth ruining.

Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan


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